Advantages Individual outputs, mental tuning options, good pattern programming
Disadvantages Primative, some dodgy sounds, small memory, early versions are tempramental
I used to own a drumtraks drum machine but it got nicked by someone who was in love with the kickdrum sounds. Plainly the man was either deaf of insane as i certainly would not buy another one today.The SCI drumtraks is a fairly primative drum machine released in 1984 alongside the SCI sixtraks synth/sequencer. The front panel has 13 drum buttons divided into six channels with each channel having it's own monophonic output jack which is handy for external processing. The sounds themselves are not really anthing to be excited about, the clap in particular sounds like no human hand was ever involved in its production. This is odd as the Drumtraks was one of the first drum machines to use sampled sounds. The fact that you can play each sound at 16 different tunings makes up for the crap sounds to some extent as each sound can be tuned at different pitches over the course of a programmed pattern.
The drumtraks can store up to 99 patterns and 99 songs of up to 256 steps. This limited memory can be a pain when you realise that the only way to store data is to dump it to tape (this was only 1984). MIDI is implemented on the Drumtraks albeit in a primative form but you do at least get velocity sensitivity over MIDI and the syncing options are quite impressive with both MIDI and analogue pulse syncing.The strangest feature of the drumtraks is the option to change the onboard sounds by levering out the sample chips from the circuit board and fitting new EPROMS with sampled sounds blown onto them thus making the unit a kind of primative sampler. If you want to use this feature then make sure you get a unit with 'zero insertion force' sockets fitted as it's a pain in the arse otherwise. The only reason for buying one of these today is the fact that they are very cheap ( around £50 or £5 from a car boot sale )and it's another sound source but i wouldn't go out of my way to get one.
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